The Power of Prayer

Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.

Mark 11:24

As some may know, I was truly saved by God two years ago when I participated in the Disney College Program. I know the exact time and place and feeling and I never want to forget it.

Lately I’ve been diving deeper into my faith: studying scripture, reading devotionals; anything I can do to really live the life Christ died for me to live. I’m trying to walk in his footsteps (like millions of others), but continually fail (like millions of others).

Today I woke up happy enough, but I seemed to have a black cloud over my head all day. I couldn’t shake the feeling of what I can only describe as despair. It weirds me out to call it that, because today wasn’t all that bad at all. I got to see my fiancé the night before, had all my work done and have been feeling pretty well physiologically.

It started when I got an early morning rejection from a job I really didn’t even want. It stung a little, but pushed it to the back of my mind and (thought) I got over it. An hour or so later I got a second rejection from a job I knew I probably wasn’t going to get but wanted anyways.

This was my third rejection in just a few days. While I’m growing thick skin, I couldn’t help but despair and panic a little. I’m getting married in a year and I need a job that I can help pay the bills with! I have school loans! I worked my butt off for four years to make myself an outstanding candidate and now I feel I’m falling flat!

Honestly, the whole “despairing at jobs” thing was just a mental downward spiral for me – I’m applying early and these places need to hire someone now and it’s unfair (and selfish) for me to think they’d hold a job for some kid for four months! Now that I have a little perspective, I can see that. But at 10 a.m. this morning, I did not.

I talked to God on my walk home and read my devotionals, which really gave me peace but I still felt that there was something holding me back. The entire day I had been talking to God, asking him for peace; asking for a path or an opportunity to see his plan or an answer, but I just felt silence.

Then I got a call from Lucas and talked to him about how I was feeling. Suddenly, I realized where all my problems had stemmed from: a day or two ago, we heard he may deploy and I didn’t realize how much it affected me. As I looked back through the day, all my worries and thoughts were around him and his safety. On the phone he laughed and said, “Didn’t I tell you? That’s not happening anymore – we don’t have to worry.” I let out an audible squeal – thoroughly overjoyed at the news. At that moment, I look outside and it’s snowing.

How perfect, right?!

God knew the worries of my heart before I did and sent me a new beginning; a pure, fresh breath to the day to remind me that 1) He’s always with me and listening and 2) no matter what my situation in life should be, I can’t hang my happiness and joy on it.

I’m constantly amazed by the glory and power of God. It’s truly astonishing and I am in total awe, still, of what he did in my life today.

Tonight I want to keep all the college seniors and military significant others in my prayers.

Seniors – I feel you. It’s a tough road to hoe and nerve-wracking and scary and unknown. As many times as I’ve offered my life up to God, I keep pulling back the reins and try to steer it where I think it should go. So I pray that we all let the Lord’s will work in and through our lives and that we can wait and see what wonders he will work through us.

Military wives, girlfriends, family and friends – I give you my 1000 percent respect. I didn’t even get a taste – barely a whiff – of what your daily life is like and I went into a mental tailspin. I pray that the Lord continually brings you peace and strength and that he provides for you and your families while your loved one(s) are way.

Coming back the the verse in Mark, I urge everyone to realize how great our God is. He’s not a spiteful or selfish God; he loves you so much that he sent the thing most important to him – his Son – to die so we could be with him. He states – “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe you have received it and it will be yours.” How crazy is that?!

I needed this verse today. Maybe you did too! And remember: God is always with you.

Open When… You Can’t Sleep

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“Open When… You Can’t Sleep” actually should have been done a while ago. I had bought a small book called “Dream Symbols” at Five Below, but it ended up being too fat for the envelope 😦 So I just used a list I found on the internet of common dream symbols, made an infinite loop of sheep for him to count to fall asleep, “quick tips” to fall asleep fast, a cigar to calm him and relax him, and the book “Go the **** To Sleep” as some light reading before he nods off! And of course, the handwritten letter, a bible passage, and a picture will be added!

Open When… You Miss Me

Open When... You Miss Me

Like every letter, “Open When… You Miss Me” includes a bible passage and a handwritten letter from me. Also included is a felt heart that says “Nothing smells as good as the person you love” sprayed with my perfume; a small collection of quotes that center around missing someone; a typography print of us using the words of our favorite song; lyrics to a Carrie Underwood song (it works for our situation!); a small “Keep Calm” poster; and a love mad lib!

Open When… You’ve Had a Hard Day

Open When... You've Had a Hard Day

This envelope contains just a few treats and pick-me-ups for Lucas after he’s had a hard day. Like the others, this envelope includes a bible quote about having a hard day and a letter from me to him about having a bad day. Also included are 30-odd suggestions for relieving stress and letting off some steam, a small “Treat Yo Self” (Parks and Rec is our favorite show) poster with chocolate and a small amount of money attached, a “Book for Pampering” (coupons for him to redeem when he gets back to me), and a small picture of the Hulk (his favorite superhero). Still needed are a pack of black and milds and a picture of us/me.

Open When… You’re Bored

Open When... You're Bored

This is my first installment in showcasing Lucas’ “Open When…” Letters for when he goes to AT (Annual Training). He doesn’t know about it at ALL, and I’m so excited to give them to him:)

This envelope includes just a few things for him to occupy himself with when he’s bored: two coloring book pages of the Hulk (his favorite superhero) with crayons, two word searches about love and the Bible, a word search I made myself about the military, a crossword puzzle about our relationship, a relationship questionnaire (A sort of “would I rather,” “My Favorite…,” etc. I don’t remember the website I got some of my questions from, I’m sorry!), and one of those fortune things that we all used to make in elementary school! The inside flaps alter from motivational quotes to secrets about myself, to random Snapple Facts, a Bible verse (usually they follow the lines of which envelope they’re in, but most of the ones I could find that related to bored had to do with Sloth so I just wrote him a cute note!), and I still need to put a picture in it! I haven’t decided if it should be just me or the both of us, or maybe make it a puzzle he has to put together!

In all, I’ll been making about 20 letters. If you have any questions or anything, feel free to contact me!

Love.

I never imagined something like this would happen to me. Okay, that’s a lie. I always dreamed something like this would happen to me. But I didn’t think it would actually happen. Never in a million years. This is the story of our love story.

FRESHMAN YEAR OF COLLEGE

Introductions

If asked to describe myself, I probably wouldn’t be too shy to tell you everything.

I’m still trying to find my true identity in life; the true definition of what it means to be me. But I have a lot of the puzzle pieces in place. I really enjoy getting together and having fun with friends, but I don’t really enjoying drinking. Which is kind of a difficult thing to wrestle with at a top party school. Still, I’ve held my own for the first semester of college and haven’t gotten drunk. I probably drank more at home on break than I did at school. I really like the feeling you get after a good workout. Almost as much as I love the taste of mashed potatoes. I’m pretty easygoing. Actually, some people would say that I’m too easygoing. I can get addicted to Netflix pretty easily. It’s a chronic condition.I try to be as generous as possible. In efforts to make others happy, I’ll give myself the short end of the stick the majority of times; whether it be giving up my cozy bed so my roommate can have sex for the 3rd time that day, or driving all over God’s green earth to make each family member’s holiday party. And honestly, I enjoy doing it most of the time. Being out of my bed forces me to interact with people I should probably be talking to anyways, and I enjoy the time I get to think from traveling from party to party. In my spare time, I usually watch Netflix, go to the gym, or catch up with friends. I really enjoy Etsy too. One of my favorite feelings in life is giving the perfect present.

My parents got divorced when I was 15. Like any only child would, I took it pretty hard. Internalizing most of my feelings, I retreated into myself for a good portion of my sophomore year of high school. Friendships got harder and the hope of romance all but faded away. Relationships with my parents were rocky at best. While they still have their ups and downs, I know my parents love me unconditionally and only ever wanted the best for me.

I believe a college experience is important to have, but realize it isn’t for everyone. I chose my college based off it’s professional reputation for my major. Even though I love the University and have made some really good friends, at the end of the day, I’m here to kick ass, make a name for myself, and begin the rest of my life. I don’t believe that you need to drink to have fun. While a glass of wine or a cup of beer is nice to de-stress, getting drunk is on my to-don’t list. Some people may call me crazy, but that’s just not how I want to live my life.

My parents always taught me to be the best that I can possibly be. My father is a overly-committed, stretched-out workaholic with mommy- and daddy-issues and a high tolerance for feelings. At least that’s how he can look on the outside now. On the inside, a few years ago, I knew him as a giving, loving, selfless workaholic that had crazy parents. He’s different, but he’s still my father and know beyond doubt that there’s no one he cares more for in this world than me. The divorce changed him though, and not necessarily for the better. He’s always pushed me to work for my dreams, but recently his demands are getting more unattainable and his tone is becoming more harsh. I know she’s influencing him… the step-monster. Her kids are nice, her family’s nice, but I just can’t seem to find her company pleasurable. As soon as I think she might not be all bad, she ruins it for herself by ratting me out about something o making a snarky comment about one of my achievements. Due to my incapability to disappoint people, I put on a (semi-)smiling face when conversing with her in front of my father. Much to my mother’s dismay.

My mom can be my best friend and my worst enemy, sometimes in the same day. Unlike other teenagers that complain their mom is mean because she won’t give them more money or hang out with current “cool” boy, I deal with real, adult arguments. For years, my mother has grappled with the idea of me being in another woman’s home, under her care. She continually think that I’m lying to her about my relationships at my other house, forbids me to like my step-monster, and has even called me the biggest disappointment in her life. For all her faults, she has strengths. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t call to make sure I’m doing well, and she remembers the most insignificant things I say for later dates. My stepfather is just a teddy bear that I couldn’t be happier that my mother found. He’s perfect for her in every way and I literally thank the good Lord that she found her. He’s exactly what she needs.

Obviously, my family and I are far from perfect. But my boyfriend isn’t.

*

Lucas is honestly the best human being I have ever met. Even the things he claims are his faults I see as his strengths. I’ve never known someone so self-motivating that will give all he has then find a way to give more. He’s so steadfast in his morals and knows exactly who he is, which is one of the most attractive things about him. He continually falls back on who he is as a person; a solid structure of morality, genuine compassion, and pure friendliness. He is my rock.

The way that he tells me stories; how his eyes light up as he leans in just a little bit more as he gets to the good part, how his lips spin words into narratives that I could listen to for the rest of my life, how he gets self-conscious about talking too much… everything he does just makes me love him more. He could tell me the most insignificant piece of information and I’d still hang on every word he says.